Every once in a while I am forced or tricked or seduced out of my literary comfort zone and I get another perspective on the world. Usually these side trips serve to merely reinforce my prejudices and keep me entrenched more or less comfortably where I'm typically found. For instance I picked up a current affairs/recent history type of former bestseller from the library recently - ughh, what a dull piece of shit that one was. Can not figure the appeal at all, but it was huuuuge. On the other hand, sometimes I get introduced to something vaguely exotic to my sensibilities that I enjoy. Such was the case with Carol K. Carr's India Black, the first of a presumed series about a former whore now madam of an upscale brothel in 19th century London. Everything about the packaging on this one was a turn-off, but damn, the voice was great. In the first few pages, debaucheries are described that had me guffawing and the undignified treatment of human remains touched me in a special place. Not that this is really all that dark. Not at all. The tone is simply irreverent. Brought to mind Joss Whedon for some reason, tho, Mr. W really goes for the gut every so often. In other, getting outside of my box, I read and enjoyed Michael Lewis' Liar's Poker to compliment my recent ingesting of Cortright McMeel's Short. They'd make good companion pieces. Both Short and India Black suffer, in my opinion from unfortunate packaging. Black should've featured a far pulpier picture or dipped into some Jack the Ripper bloody vibe and whoever compared Short to The Office oughtta read the damn book. Anyway, I'm owning up to enjoying books with corsets over at Ransom Notes.
Elswhere, I really enjoyed Greg Rucka and Matthew Southworth's Stumptown on the john a couple nights ago. I'd like to see more of that kinda schtuff and a big thanks goes out to Kieran Shea for the introduction.
Speaking of Shea, he's in the lineup along with Matthew C. Funk, Tim L. Williams, Garnett Elliott, Johnny Shaw, Jeremiah Grandon, Terry White and Jim Wilsky for The New Slashers edition of Plots With Guns. Infact, Shea's all over the place. Say 'hi' for me when you bump into him.
Meanwhile, Stay God author Nik Korpon reviews Scott Phillips' RUT and interviews Stona Fitch about his baby The Concord Free Press over at The Nervous Breakdown.